This fall, the students of the inaugural class of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme at Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy (CSPA) begin their final year of studies in this prestigious program. The 35 seniors are on track to earn their full IB Diploma in June 2019, and 75 juniors will begin their IB course work. CSPA is the only International Baccalaureate World School in Livingston County.
Seven years ago, Charyl Stockwell Academy (CSA) District was granted the School of Excellence Award by Central Michigan University for consistently being one of their top performing charter schools. In addition, CSPA was annually designated as a top performing school among all public schools in Livingston County. CSA District leaders and the Board of Directors used this evidence of the solid education their students were receiving as motivation to explore the possibility of establishing an IB World School at CSPA. In November 2016, after five years of research, planning and training, their efforts paid off and CSPA was granted the status of IB World School. The first IB classes were offered in September 2017.
The IB Diploma Programme is recognized worldwide as the most rigorous course of study for secondary students. Higher learning institutions in the United States and around the world recognize the effort and hard work involved in earning an IB Diploma and give IB Diploma students special consideration in the admission process. Colleges and universities understand that completion of the IB Diploma Programme prepares students to be successful at their institutions. In addition, many of them offer credit for the successful completion of IB courses.
“At CSPA, we believe in an ‘IB for all School,’ that every student who attends our academy can and will complete some IB course work,” said Steven M. Beyer, CSPA Principal. “Many schools that offer IB programs require that students test in but at CSPA, we know that all students can be successful so every student has the opportunity to engage with the rigorous IB curriculum.”
“IB course work requires students to make connections across subjects,” added Lisa Pick, CSA District Director of Curriculum and Instruction and IB Diploma Programme Coordinator. “Such connections are real life, linking student learning of their local community, their country and the world. The IB interdisciplinary method aligns directly with our mission at CSA District where students are allowed to grow and learn at their own pace and in doing so, graduate solidly college-ready. The core values of the IB Learner Profile fit with our efforts to develop the whole child – well-rounded, balanced students who are reflective, kind and who, during their time in our schools, learn to know themselves, like themselves and work with others to solve problems. This has always been the CSA way and the IB Diploma Programme fits with who we are.”
At CSPA, students are in the IB Program during their junior and senior years of high school. They take course work in six academic areas: English, history, science, math, a world language (Spanish or German), and the arts. In addition, IB courses in music, drama, biology, chemistry, math, and math studies are offered. CSPA students also take a Theory of Knowledge class that is designed to help them learn to know what they know and understand how their thinking and understanding shape how they see the world.
The IB Programme culminates with students taking IB exams and submitting their Extended Essay, which is a scholarly research paper.
“Students preparing a research paper and publicly presenting their findings has been a long standing tradition of CSPA, even before we achieved IB World School status,” said Pick.
Students can round out their education at CSPA by taking part in band, choir, musical and Shakespearian performances, and an MHSAA-sanctioned athletic program. As part of their graduation requirements, students use their talents to provide service to a local community engagement project.
“This is an exciting time of year as students begin their final educational journey at our academy. Our students grow and learn in a safe learning environment and know that that the world is an optimistic place, filled with wonder and joy,” said Beyer.
Charyl Stockwell Academy is a public charter school established in 1996 with an elementary campus in Hartland and a secondary campus in Brighton. CSA District schools offer private school atmosphere that is tuition free.